Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Global Warming: Another letter too radical to print

February 6, 2011

Dear Editor:

RE: “Fanning the flames”, Feb. 1, 2011, C-ville Weekly

In my opinion, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation into state funding of Michael Mann’s climate change research at UVA is politically motivated. It’s payback for how the University treated former State Climatologist Patrick Michaels. Cuccinelli is sending a message that state colleges should think twice before fostering an environment hostile to academic and intellectual freedom.

If it’s about global warming, allow me to save taxpayer money and debunk the idea right now. Global warming is a three-part theory, a trinity of postulates.

(1) The average temperature of the earth is warming.
(2) Some or all of the warming is caused by man.
(3) The warming is abnormal and bad.

Mann and Michaels agree on the first two points. But Michaels is not alarmed because his hockey stick temperature chart is much bigger.

If you go back only a thousand years, it looks like a hockey stick. But if you go back 3 million years, it looks like a straight line of ice with occasional heat waves. If you go back 300 million years, it looks like a hockey stick again but turned upside down because of the recent ice ages.

Only one percent of geologic time has been as cold as we are today. Earth is 99 times more likely to have alligators at the poles than to have ice. You might say, too much carbon dioxide has been bound into fossil fuels, causing the ice ages.

With cooling since the 1998 El Nino and growing scrutiny of the science, global warming morphs into: (1) We have cooling. (2) We want warming. (3) Warm is good and normal. CO2 is plant food. Plants provide all the oxygen. I leave you with this moral imperative.

If you truly care about the environment, you should generate as much greenhouse gas as you need so Mother Earth can warm back to normal and the polar regions can once again recycle CO2 into oil and natural gas for future generations.

Blair Hawkins
Charlottesville, Virginia

[ Update: Letter published in the Feb. 22 issue of C-ville Weekly.]

My general policy is to wait 2 weeks or 2 issues of a weekly paper to seek publication elsewhere. Most letters policies require that your letter be exclusive to the paper you’re writing to. So they have first publication. In my experience, C-ville Weekly and The Hook do not call or notify you. The letter simply appears.

The Daily Progress calls the writer to verify you actually wrote the letter. From time to time, there are actual fake letters written. Usually I hear from the Progress within a few days and then it’s a week or two for publication. So if I don’t hear from them in more than 5 business days, I’ll call and ask if they intend to print. If not, I’ll seek to publish the letter elsewhere.

The latest global warming letter does provoke thought and tests the limits of intellectual expression accepted in C-ville Weekly.

“Investigation into forged letters planned” by Brian McNeill, Aug 1, 2009.
“A top congressman announced Friday that he is launching an investigation into a half-dozen forged letters sent to U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello in an attempt to sway his vote on a landmark piece of climate change legislation.”

Previous letters too radical to print:

Historical Society: Jefferson School 1865

Race Violence in our Schools? Apr. 4, 2006

“Staunton didn’t self-destruct”, Apr. 1, 2004. I sent the letter to The Hook in response to Feb. 19 cover story. But the Hook didn’t print it until I had waited 2 weeks, then posted it to Charlottesville Independent Media in mid-March 2004.

The NASA Temperature Chart 1880 to 2006 zooms in on the 1980s and 1990s when National Weather Service and other weather services worldwide modernized and automated their equipment. The new temperature sensors have a documented warm bias and explain why you still hear news stories of record warmth despite the obvious cooling.


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